as investigated by the
Public Accounts Committee
of the House of Commons
Also the purchase of
as investigated by the
Special "Boot Committee"
Appointed by the House of Commons
Publication No. 44
Public Accounts Investigation 5
Drugs, Bandages and Medicine 16
Bicycles , 24
Shield Shovels 25
Motor Trucks 26
Burning of Clothing 30
Premier's Statement 31
Loss to the Country 34
Flannel, service and cotton shirts 35
Forage Caps... 35
Soldiers' Uniforms .^ 35
Canvas Shoes 36
Oliver Equipment 36
The Patronage Maggot (Article appearing in the Ottawa
Citizen, March 24th, 1915) 37
BO . . 39
G^unkased -for 4ti j^m fierce (j)li£dio7L.
ai QuuK's Unwdrsxtu OKtht
GOVERNMENT PURCHASING SYSTEM
LOOSE, IRREGULAR AND ILLEGAL
PRACTICE CONTRARY TO REGULATIONS
"IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT: THEY WERE
NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACT."— TOe
Auditor-General of Canada, before the Public Accounts
Committee, March 17, 1915, verified his letter of Dec. It,
IQlJf to Militia Department, complaining that war goods
amounting to over $1,000,000 had been bought WITHOUT
ORDERS-IN-COUNCIL AS REQUIRED.
TORY PATRONAGE SYSTEM COMPELLED
USE OF MIDDLEMEN
**I saw Colonel Jones, an officer of the Militia
^'Department. He said that the Government
**WOULD NOT DO BUSINESS DIRECT WITH
**OUR COMPANY— We were prepared to do busi-
**ness direct if the Government saw fit to do
'^business with us AS WE DO IN OTHER COUN-
**TRIES — The prices we charged Powell (the mid-
**dleman who added $9,000 profit) are the prices
**we charge the French, British or Russian Govern-
**ments for hundreds of carloads of goods." — W. J.
Shaver^ representative of Bauer & Black, manufacturers
of Surgical Dressings, before the Public Accounts Com-
mittee, on March 23, 1915.
Tory Patronage List
WHAT GENERAL HUGHES SAYS
In the dying hours of the last Session of Parliament,
Major General Hughes, in his usual bumptious manner,
informed the House that there was no patronage list
in his Department: ^
What did his Director of Contracts, Mr. H. W.
Brown, say before the Public Accounts Committee on
April 9th, 1915.
A TORY PATRONAGE LIST
**From ld06 to 1911 there was not very much
in the way of a patronage list; I was given a
pretty free hand and I bought without much
reference to any patronage list — There is now a
patronage list. WE BUY FROM THAT LIST— It
is a very large list now— I suppose we have 8,000
names on that list." — H. W, Brown, Director of
Contracts, Department of Militia before the Public Accounts
Committee on April 9, 1915,
W^HO IS RIGHT?
Public Accounts Investigation
HOW THE INVESTIGATIONS WERE BROUGHT ABOUT.
Repeated and insistent demands by Liberals in Parlia-
ment were met by subterfuge and delay. Results of in-
vestigations fully justified the Liberal demands. But for
the insistence of Liberals, the facts as to middleman's graft,
Government incompetence, lack of proper inspection, etc.,
all resulting in enormous waste of public money, might
never have become known.
Prior to the meeting of Parliament, which was formally
opened on February 4th, rumors of irregularities in the purchase
of war supplies in Canada were rife throughout the Dominion,
from Atlantic to Pacific. There were hints in the newspapers,
street gossip everywhere indicated something wrong, but there
was no proof and there could be no proof because all the official
information was locked up in the various Government depart-
ments — and the Government was not giving any information.
MANUFACTURERS COMPLAINED OF MIDDLEMEN.
There is proof that the Government knew very well that
there was something wrong.
Early in the autumn, not very long after the War broke out,
the Canadian Manufacturers' Association found there was some-
thing wrong and they wrote letters to Sir Robert Borden himself.
They complained of the manner in which they were being treated
by the Government; that they could not get orders while politi-
cians acting as middlemen could get all the orders that were
going. The manufacturers complained that they could sell their
goods only through these political middlemen.
BORDEN'S DUTY WAS TO INVESTIGATE.
Premier Borden answered, asking for specific instances.
Very rightly the Manufacturers' Association replied **You are
the Government, it is your duty to investigate." The
Premier asked again for specific cases which were supplied and
referred to the Militia Department. Of course the Department
said they were not true.
Half a dozen times in Parliament, Premier Borden was asked
to produce this correspondence. He admitted it was in existence
and he finally promised to produce it — but Parliament prorogued
and the letters were never brought down.
And yet on the day Parliament prorogued Sir Robert Borden,
with a great show, declared that he had been absolutely
unaware of the middlemen.
RED TAPE DELAYS.
This was the situation when Parliament assembled.
February 8th, was the first business day of the session.
On February 8th, Mr. A. K. MacLean, Liberal member for Halifax
took the first step toward an investigation when he gave formal
^'For a copy of all correspondence which has passed
''between the Auditor General and the Militia Department
**of the Government service, in regard to the expenditure
** under the War Appropriation Act.'*
On February 11th, three days later, the House passed the
order, and the proper officials were notified to produce copies
of the correspondence.
The correspondence was not voluminous. It was afterward
printed in 44 pages. But the Government, with its horde of
12,000 new appointees in addition to the regular staff did not
produce these papers until February 25th, just 14 days later.
And then there was only one copy of each paper.
On February 26, the next day. Sir Wilfrid Laurier asked if it
was the intention of the Government to have the papers printed
so that they might be available to all the members. The Minister
of Finance promised "to consider the matter. ''
Four days went by in "consideration." On March 2, Sir
Wilfrid asked the same question, this time of Sir Robert Borden,
who responded that he saw no objection.
On M^rch 3, the next day, the order for printing was given.
ASK INVESTIGATION BY PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
On March 5, Mr. A. K. Maclean, Liberaljnember for Halifax,
moved that the correspondence be referred to the Public Accounts
Committee. The Government took no action.
On March 8, Mr. Maclean renewed his motion. On this
second occasion the Premier himself. Sir Robert Borden, asked
that the matter be delayed for one day.
On March 9, the next day as suggested by the Premier, Mr.
Maclean returned to the question for the third time and Sir
Robert Borden again asked that the matter be delayed.
FOURTH TIME OF ASKING.
On March 12, Mr. Maclean renewed the question for the
fourth time. It was not till then that Sir Robert Borden gave
his consent and the formal action was taken to refer the matter
to the Public Accounts Committee,
But there had to be more delay before the Committee could
get to work, sHid it was not until March 17, that the first sitting
was held, the House on the same day ordering that the proceedings
of the Committee should be printed from day to day.
TIME WAS SHORT. THEREFORE INVESTIGATION HAD
TO BE CURTAILED.
From the foregoing it will be seen that Parhament was in
actual working session five weeks before the Public Accounts
Committee got to work. The length of the session was im-
certain — in fact on March 17, there was already talk of early
This being the case, members of the Committee realized that
ihe investigation must necessarily be short. Knowing the large
number of matters that should be investigated, they decided to
confine themselves only to those cases in which evidence was
easily and readily obtainable. They therefore investigated only
the following: — drugs, bicycles, binoculars, field dressiilgs,
motor trucks and automobiles, horses, **shield" shovels,
housewives, jams, subrnarines, Valcartier lands and the
burning of clothing.
TORY COMMITTEEMEN WORKED HARD TO SHIELD
MIDDLEMEN AND GOVERNMENT.
The Government afraid of what might be brought out
sent a Minister to be in daily attendance.
Hon. J. D. Reid, Minister of Customs, officially represented
the Government on the Committee. It is plain to be seen that
this unusual custom in a Committee of the House was followed
because of the fear of the Goverrment as to what damaging facts
might be brought out. That was why Mr. Reid was always in
attendance at the meetings of the Committee. In spite of his
reiterated statement that the Government wanted the fullest
investigation possible, it is only fair and absolutely within the
facts to state that every question asked by Conservative mem-
bers of the Committee was asked for the express purpose and
with the plain intention of covering up evidence that was dam-
aging to their Tory middlemen.
LESS THAN THREE MILLIONS INVESTIGATED.
One outstanding fact in connection with the investigation
should be kept in mind. The total amount of money in-
volved in the purchases investigated was no more than
$3,000,000. This included the price of the Submarines. In
other words, the Public Accounts Committee's investigation
touched less than one-sixteenth of the $50,000,000 voted by
Parliament in August for war purposes.
How Many Assembled
8164 horses were purchased for first contingent.
398 horses were taken from permanent corps in Canada.
.Total of 8562 horses assembled at Valcartier for first con-
WHERE THE HORSES WENT TO.
7911 were shipped to England with first contingent.
481 were sold by auction at Quebec at an average priee of
19 are now held at Valcartier.
151 are absolutely unaccounted for.
A PROVED LOSS ON THE PURCHASE OF HORSES
481 horses purchased at $172.45 each and sold by auction at
Quebec at $53.72 each, making a loss of $57,100.
151 unaccounted for, purchased at $172.45 each, total $26,039.
Total loss to the Country of $83,139.
THIS IS A DIRECT LOSS, APPARENT TO EVERYONE.
But it does not take into account the loss from inferior quality.
And there is no proof that the farmers received the price charged
to the Country by the Government's horse dealers.
READ THE STORY.
The investigation of the Public Accounts Committee in the
matter of horses was practically confined to one district only — the
Province of Nova Scotia, but evidences of similar dealings from
various parts of Canada was produced. In the Province of Nova
Scotia 428 horses were purchased and the methods employed,
and the evidence brought forth make it fair to assume that the
losses to the country in connection with the horses purchased
for the first contingent are far greater than shown in the above
The Machine for Purchasing Horses.
The machinery employed for the purchase of horses in Nova
Scotia comprised A. Dewitt Foster, M.P. for Kings, elected on
a ''purity'' campaign in 1911, reprimanded in Parliament at the
close of last session and forced to resign on April 28th, 1915;
W. P. McKay, private secretary to John Stanfield, chief Con-
servative Whip, who incidentally as a side tine dabbled in the
fox-raising business, Messrs. Keever and Woodworth, friends of
Mr. Foster, both of whom are in the mming business in the
United States; and Dr. Chipman, Kentville, N.S., a local veter-
inary, who was recommended for the position by G. H. Oakes,
secretary for the Conservative Association for Kings County, N.S.
Evidently Mr. Foster and Mr. McKay knew more about
foxes than they did about horses. Messrs. Keever and Wood-
worth had specialized in mining, and their only qualifications
according to Mr. Foster was that **they would pay their
Dr. Chipman admitted on the stand that he had passed
spavined horses, and that his examination did not extend
to teeth or wind.
Thousands of Dollars Handed Over.
Confident that this organization could be counted upon
the Government guilelessly placed funds to Mr. Foster's credit
at a bank in Halifax. He was provided with blank government
cheques, and told to disburse the money. Mr. Foster thereupon
turned his ''men" to work.
Mr. Foster signed the government cheques in blank and
handed them to Mr. G. H. Oakes, Secretary of the Conservative
Association of Kings County, to fill in the amounts and number
of horses purchased. Read Mr. Foster's evidence, page 807
Public Accounts Evidence, which is as follows: —
Mr. Foster on witness stand.
BY Mr. CARVELL:
Q. — But you signed the largest cheque to Woodworth; did you
know he was purchasing? A. — Well, we might as well be frank about
that; those cheques I am not sure about all of them, but I think all
of them were signed by me and handed to Mr . Oakes , my representative ,
with instructions that when the horses were passed by the veterinary,
the veterinary was to sign the cheque, and he was to fill in the number
of horses; having the receipts from the farmers in his hands, he was
to fill in the number of horses.
And the purchasing started.
THE LAME, THE HALT AND THE BLIND ACCEPTED
Read the evidence as taken by the Public Accounts Com-
mittee as to the horses in general.
Mr. A. B. Harvey of Aylesworth on witness stand.
BY Mr. RHODES:
Q. — I am asking you: Did you in your own mind, think you
were putting one over on the Government in selling horses that were
many years over the age? A. — I went to Berwick with a horse. I read
their poster, w^ent to the park with the horse not to sell it, drove there
to see the people. When I got to Berwick, I didn't think that m.y
horse would go according to the poster. I took notice that I had
as good a one, if not the best one, they had there — the lame, the halt
and the blind. Well, I drove him up in the wagon. They had a
veterinary that came and examined him; and they says: What do you
want for him? I said: What would you give me? They said $150.
All right, I says, you can have him.
(See page 546 Public Accounts Evidence).
Mr. Spurgeon Selfridge on witness stand.
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — How would you describe the horses which you thought were
a pretty poor looking lot? In what reject did you think they were
poor? A. — They were both thin in flesh and blemished, and some
the worse for wear.
Q. — Blemished in what respect? Spavined, ringboned, foundered?
A. — Yes, yes. There were all of the blemishes coming to them, I
Q. — Did they look as though they were twenty-five years old?
Q. — Weie these horses that you have described purchased by
McKay? A. — Some of them.
Q. — Did you see them ticketed? A. — I did.
(See page 556 P.A.E.)
READ ABOUT SOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL HORSES.
THE KNEE SPRUNG HORSE WHICH COST THE
Mr. A. B. Harvey on the witness stand.
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — You sold one horse to Mackay at Berwick? A. — Yes*
BY Mr. RHODES:
Q. — The horse was sound, was it? A. — No.
Q.— What was the matter with it? A.— SPRUNG IN THE KNEES.
Q. — Was this spring apparent to any one who was a qualified and
experienced horseman. A. — Most anybody could see it if they looked.
BY Mr. McCOIG:
Q. — Would you want to ride a horse sprung in the knees yourself?
A. — No. I don't want to ride any of them.
BY Mr. NICKLE:
Q. — How did you happen to approach them to buy; what just
happened; for instance, to whom did you go? A. — I drove in my horse
with the rest; they were standing around there. This veterinary,
Chipman, came along and put a ticket on him and went away.
Q. — Where did you go sifter that with your horse? A. — I stayed
Q. — What happened? A. — Mr. McKay came along and wanted
to know what I wanted. I said, what can you give me? he said $150;'
I said, all right.
Q. — You made no representation as to the age of your horse?
A. — Not a bit, sir.
Q. — Did you call his attention to the fact that he was sprung in.
the knee? A. — I did not have to do that; any nnan could see it.
(See pages 537, 538 and 547 P.A.E.
THE BONE SPAVINED HORSE SOLD FOR $100
BY Mr. RHODES:
Q. — Now, take the next animal you sold. What did you sell her
for? A. — The next prie was a sorrel horse.
Q. — How long had you owned the horse? A. — I got him that
morning, four or five hours.
BY Mr. NICKLE:
Q. — What wae the matter with that horse? A. — He was not so
very \md; HE HAD TWO LITTLE SPAVINS ON HIM.
Q. — Were they dead? A.— I cannot tell yoa that; I do not know.
Q. — Were the spavins quite apparent to the eye? A. — Oh, yes, a
fellow could see them.
Q. — Could you feel it with your hand down the inside of the leg?
A. — You could see them with your own eyes.
Q. — How did you come to sell that time? A. — I led them right in,
tied them up against a fence w^ith the rest of the scabs, and they came
along and put tickets on them, and they remained with the r«st.
Q. — Who put the ticket on? A. — Dr. Chipman, the veterinary.
Q. — How did yoiB determine the price? A. — McKay is the man.
Q. — Tell me about it; I was not there; you w^ere. A. — I says, what
are they worth? Can you handle them? He says, what do you w^ant
for them? I says what can you give me? He says, 1*11 give you $100
Q. — No dickering at all? A. — Not a bit.
(See pages 543, 544, 548 and 549 P.A.E.)
THE DARK BAY MARE SOLD FOR $130. TOO OLD
FOR SOUTH AFRICAN WAR, BUT PURCHASED NOW
BY Mr. RHODES:
Q. — Take the highest priced horse you sold at Kingston; what
vras the price of that one? A. — $1^.
Q. — Now grive us the colour oJF the horse? A. — Bay, dark bay mare.
Q. — How old? A. — Crawling along, I should say.
Q. — What do you mean by crawling along? A. — Well, she was
:getting up, you know.
Q. — You said she was crawling along. How old was she? A. — AS
FAR AS MY JUDGMENT GOES I SHOULD SAY SHE WAS 18 OR 20.
Q. — How long had you known this mare? A. — About two hours.
Q. — Tell me how you came to the conclusion that she was eighteen
years old? A. — Well, people that had known her told me.
BY Mr. NICKLE:
Q. — Where did you get that mare? A. — From Howard Spurr.
Q. — Did you take him in with the rest of the bunch? A. — She came
Q. — Who was representing the Government? A. — Mr. Chipman
Q. — You took them up to Chipman again? A. — I led him in and
tied him up against the fence.
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — Do you know of any horses that were turned down at the time
of the South African War that were sold to McKay? A. — I know that
I heard this Spurr mare was supposed to be one that was turned down
at that iHme; as being too old, she was turned down then.
(See pages 541, 549 and 5€3 P.A.E.)
THE SORREL HORSE, KNEE SPRUNG, SOLD TO THE
GOVERNMENT FOR $90.00, BUT TRADED A SHORT
TIME BEFORE FOR *'A DRAKE AND TWO DUCKS''
BY Mr. RHODES:
Q. — Take the next horse, was it a horse or a mare? A. — It was a
Q. — What price did you get for him? A. — $90.
Q. — You say you have no idea as to its age? A. — I don't think I
was alive when he was born.
Q. — How old are you? A. — Thirty-two or thirty-three.
Q. — You say this horse you sold at $90 was thirty-two or thirty-
three years? A. — No. I did not.
Q.— How old in your judgment? A.— I WOULD TAKE HIM TO
BE PRETTY HANDY THIRTY.
Q. — Was the spring in any one of the knees? A. — Yes, two of them.
Q. — Had he any other defects? A. — I don't think, I didn't have
him long, you know, didn't use him long. He was sprung up some.
BY Mr. NICKLE:
Q. — Did you approach Chipman the same as before? A. — Yes.
Q. — And he put the ticket on i*? A. — Yes.
Q. — And Mackay fixed the price? A. — Yes.
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — From whom did you get this sorrel horse? A. — Mr. C. H.
Q. — Who did Meader get it from? A. — Mr. Thomas Baltzer.
Q. — How much did Baltzer get for him? A. — $15.
Q.— Who did Baltzer get it from? A.— Mr. Daniels.
Q. — How much did Daniels get for him? A. — $iO.
Q. — Who did Daniels get the horse from? A. — Charles Uhlman.
Q.— What did Daniels give Uhlman for the horse? A.— A DRAKE
AND TWO DUCKS.
BY Mr. NICKLE:
Q.— THIS IS A RATHER SERIOUS BUSINESS. DID I UNDER-
STAND THERE WAS SOLD TO THE GOVERNMENT A HORSE FOR
$90, THAT WAS BOUGHT A SHORT TIME AGO FOR THREE DUCKS?
A.— NO, A DRAKE AND TWO DUCKS.
Q.— WHAT WAS THE MATTER WITH HIM? A.— I ONLY HAD
HIM A LITTLE WHILE; HE WAS SPRUNG IN THE KNEES A LITTLE
BIT; HE WAS A BIT OLD YOU KNOW.
(See pages 544, 545, 550 and 552 P.A.E.)
Mr. S. Selfridge on witness stand.
THE 17 OR 18 YEAR OLD HORSE, IF HE COULD NOT
SELL HIM HE WOULD KILL HIM
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — Do you know Ingraham Bowlby? A. — I do.
Q. — Did he have a horse for sal^? A. — He had two of them.
Q. — Did you know them pretty well? A. — Yes, one of them
Q. — How old was that one? A. — She would be seven^en or eigh-
teen last spring.
Q. — What were her characteristics, how was she as to wind and
limb? A.— SHE HAD A VERY BAD DOSE OF THE HEAVES.
Q. — Was that one sold? A. — He took her to Kingston and left her
there. I was not at Kingston. He said he sold her, she did not come
Q. — Did you have any conversation with this man Bowlby about
the mare taken to Kingston? A. — Yes.
Q.— What did he tell you? A.--HE HAD TOLD ME SEVERAL
TIMES THAT HE DID NOT INTEND TO WINTER HER, AI^D HE TOLD
ME THAT IF HE DID NOT SELL HER HE WAS GOING TO KILL HER.
(See pages 658 and 659 P.A.E.)
THE GOOD HORSE REJECTED, BUT THE
OLD MARE SOLD
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — And his other horse? A. — He was a good horse, that is, a
good looking horse. He has only had him about a year, and if I re«
member right he bought him at six years old. He is an Island horse,
and a fine horse.
Q. — Did he sell that one? A. — No.
Q. — He did not sell that horse, he still has him at home? A, — He
took him down to sell first, and he said that was not the kind they
were buying, and he telephoned home TO SEND THE OLD MARE
DOWN, AND HE SOLD HER.
(See page 558 P.A.E.)
THE ABNER WOODWORTH HORSE. 15 YEARS OLD
BOUGHT FOR $50, SOLD FOR $130
BY Mr. KYTE:
Q. — ^That is one of Abner Woodworth'c, was he sold? A. — Yes, he
says so. He did not bring him back, I have not seen him since.
Q. — How old was he? A. — He said he was fifteen years.
Q. — Do you know where Woodworth get him? A, — From Edward
Bartaux, I think it was a mare.
Q.— What did he pay Bartaux for the mare? A.— I ONLY KNOW
THAT HE TOLD ME LAST SPRING HE BOUGHT HER FOR $50.
Q. — Did he tell you how much he got for her? A. — He said he
(See page 559 P.A.E.)
And so on. —
The required number of horses were purchased (if not the
required quality and age) but to this day the country has no
record of the prices paid nor the receipt given. Having
finished their patriotic duties Messrs. Keever and Woodworth
returned to their mining business in the United States taking
with them these receipts and vouchers. Mr. Foster admitted
on the witness stand that within the past week he had seen both
Mr. Keever and Mr. Woodworth in the States but he did not
state that he had tried to get them to appear before the Public
Accounts Committee to tell what they knew of this transaction.
Mr. FOSTER SAID KEEVER TOOK ALL VOUCHERS.
In his evidence before the Public Accounts Committee, Mr.
Foster, the Tory member for Kings County, and the moving spirit
in the infamous horse deals, declared that all the vouchers and
receipts for the purchase of the horses remained in the hands of
Messrs. Keever and Woodworth who took them away to the
United States. He also intimated that he had gone to the United
States to see these men, but had not succeeded in getting the
papers, nor could he get them to come to the investigation.
KEEVER CONTRADICTS FOSTER'S STORY.
Mr. Keever says neither he nor Mr Woodworth
have any vouchers.
This statement is strangely at variance with what Keever
told a Boston newspaper reporter. The Boston Journal, of
April 14th published an interview with Keever in which he was
quoted as saying ''I heard a couple of weeks ago that an enquiry
"was being made by the party out of power in Parliament into the
* 'general purchases made for the Canadian contingent. These
"facts however do not jibe with what I know. Mr. Foster
**was in this office last Tuesday and talked withMr. Wood-
**worth and also with myself. He did not even mention
**the fact that an enquiry had been made or was to be made.
"He was on his way to Washington and I believe he is there at the
Mr. Keever went on to say *T went with Mr. Woodworth
"to help Mr. Foster buy the horses, for he had been able to help
**someof his constituents sell some of their animals. The
''apple crop had been ruined and by selling these horses it
* 'would put a little more money in circulation in that section
**As far as vouchers go, and also receipts, neither Mr.
** Woodworth nor myself have any. Everything was paid for
**in Government cheques.'*
Proceeding with more detail of how the horses were bought^
Mr. Keever wound up with the significant statement **If I had
**known such an enquiry was on, I certainly would have
**been there to defend anything said against me.'*
No Evidence of What the Farmers Got.
These horses, from the Province of Nova Scotia cost the
country $170 apiece, and the evidence shows that they were
exceedingly expensive at that, but there is nothing to show
what was paid to the farmers. Both Keever and Woodworth
declined to return to Canada to give evidence, and Mr. McKay
when examined evinced a strange lack of knowledge of the whole
Frank McLaughlin of Valcartier swore before the com-
mittee on another occasion that for three weeks **dead
horses going to the glue factory, about four a day," had
passed on trucks before his door. It is very possible that
some of the Foster horses were among them.
Horse Purchase Chicanery extended to Province of Quebec.
Only one other transaction was investigated, and that was
in connection with the purchase of horses at Sherbrooke, Quebec,
by Major Fletcher, one of the Government's supporters and
buyers. Major Fletcher purchased three splendidly bred
Clydesdale mares in foal for $250, $225 and $190 respectively,
and exchanged them for three of his own geldings. These
fine mares secured in a trade with the King are now in
Major Fletcher's possession.
Committee Report to Parliament.
It is to be noted that the above investigations covered less
than 500 of the eight thousand od( horses purchased for the
Taking them as samples of the Government's purchases
throughout the Dominion it would seem that the half has not
yet been told, and that the losses to the country as between
the prices paid to the farmers and the prices charged to the
Government will far exceed the losses proven by the Govern-
ment's own figures*
When all the evidence offered regarding horse purchasing
had been heard by the Public Accounts Committee, an interim
report (No. 6) was made to Parliament, and it is worthy of
remembrance that this report was moved by Mr. H. B. Morphy
of North Perth, the Conservative chairman of the committee.
Mr. Morphy's motion said:
*'Your committee are of the opinion that the evidence
respecting the purchase of horses in Nova Scotia discloses circum-
stances of such an unsatisfactory character that further investi-
gation and action are necessary, and they recommend that
the said evidence and all documents connected with the matters
aforesaid be referred to the Department of Justice with in-
structions to make such investigation and to institute such
prosecutions and to take such proceedings as may be found
necessary to protect the public interest.
Recommend Further Investigation.
"And your committee further recommend that a further
investigation should be made by the Government in regard to
any irregularities which may have taken place in any other
province of Canada, where such steps will be authorized and
warranted by evidence or information of credible persons.''
But No Sign Yet of Investigation.
It may be noted that at the time this is written, May 15th,
there has been no outward or visible sign of any action in ac-
cordance with this motion, either by the Department of Justice
or by the Government in ascertaining how far the abuses in the
purchases of horses may have obtained in other parts of the
Dominion. On the other hand rumors and newspaper articles
make it quite fair to assume that there was similar lack of business
methods, to put it at its mildest, in many other parts of Canada.
LOSS TO THE COUNTRY ON 500 OUT OF 8164
HORSES PURCHASED, $81,139.
Drugs, Bandages and
DRUG CASE No. I
Clinical Thermometers Bought at Exactly Twice
Regular Prices. Quick Refund when Liberals
Question the Deal.
After the outbreak of War, the Militia Department bought
from T. A. Brownlee, druggist of Ottawa, 1,062 clinical ther-
Brownlee charged $1.00 each, and was paid for 702 on
August 31, 1914, and for the remaining 360 on October 29, 1914.
On February 10, Mr. William Chisholm, M.P., Liberal
Member for Antigonish asked for details and was informed on
February 22nd by Major General Sam Hughes, that $1.00 each
had been paid and * 'subsequently Mr. Brownlee discovered an
«rror in his charge and refunded half of this, making the net
price 50 cents.''
Inquiry by Liberal Member February 10th. Refund
On March 1, answering a demand for more details, it was
stated officially that the refund was made on February 11th — •
The very day following Mr. Chisholm's first question. Is
not this clear proof that it was the Liberal question that
forced the refund!
On March 1st, Major General Hughes admitted officially
that the Department subsequently had been quoted much lower
prices than were paid to Brownlee.
OTHER PURCHASES FROM BROWNLEE.
It might be assumed that Mr. Brownlee's transactions with
the Department ended with the purchase of the^ thermometers.
Not so. He was more fortunate than that. From the return
brought down it is shown that Mr. Brownlee got at least $25,000
worth of orders from the Department. These and some other
large items were not investigated by the Committee. It is only
fair, however, to state that in one item alone he was asked to
supply 150 medicine stores boxes filled complete, which he did at
$85.00 a piece, the order amounting to $12,750.
Were Tenders Asked ?
Certainly not. No tenders were asked. Brownlee was given
the order and he filled it, but to-day after the Government have
been obliged in some cases at least to adopt the competitive
principle, similar medical boxes can be purchased from wholesale
druggists for half that price.
DRUG CASE No. 2.
FIELD DRESSINGS FOR WOUNDED.
Field Dressings (Bandages, lints, salves, etc., for wounded
Canadian Soldiers) had to pay the blood toll.
They had to come through a Tory middleman.
The middleman was an employee of a Conservative
M.P. (W. F. Garland of Carleton, Ont.)
The middleman added one-third profit.
The manufacturers of Field Dressings (Bauer & Black,
Chicago) wanted and expected to do business direct with
the Government; the same as this firm has always done
with all the governments of the world — They could not do
business direct— r-they were told so — because there had to
be a middleman.
Bauer & Black of Chicago, manufacturers of surgical dressings
and specialists in Military Field Dressings, are one of the largest
firms in the world doing this special business.
Bauer & Black, knowing that Canada was sending troops
to Europe and knowing that the proper outfitting of these troops
would include all kinds of surgical dressings, sent their own
representative, W. J. Shaver to Ottawa.
Mr. Shaver interviewed officials of the Militia Department,
expecting to do business direct with the Government, just as he
would have done with the British War Office. He found he
could not do business direct.
Let Mr. Shaver tell it in his own words, as he told it on oath
on March 23rd, before the Public Accounts Committee (pages
69 to 80). ^
**I went to see Col. Jones (of the Militia Department).
He said that THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT DO
BUSINESS DIRECT WITH OUR COMPANY." (Page 70,
There had to be a middleman !
Lest there be any mistake about that, listen to what Mr.
Shaver said further on in his examination. He went on to talk
with Col. Jones about prices for field dressings, and. the basis of
price was talked of. Mr. Shaver swore to the committee :
**Col. Jones told me it was the price laid down in
Ottawa THROUGH SOME LOCAL MAN EITHER HERE
OR SOMEWHERE ELSE IN CANADA." (Page 73, P.A.E.).
There must be a middleman !
Mr. Shaver did not want a middleman. He swore he
did not. Listen — **We were prepared to do business direct
if ^he Government saw fit to do business with us AS WE
DO IN OTHER COUNTRIES. (Page 70, P.A.E.). And later
Mr. Shaver said his company did business with the French,
British and Russian governments, to say nothing of the
United States. (Page 77, P.A.E.).
There was a middlenian.
But there had to be a middleman, so Mr. Shaver got his
middleman. He got him through W. F. Garland of Ottawa,
Conservative member for Carleton County and chief owner of
the Carleton Drug Company of Ottawa. And the middleman
was E. E. Powell, a young apprentice druggist working for $15
a week in the store of the Carleton Drug Company, of which W.
F. Garland, Conservative member of Parliament, was and is the
Agent for Government only.
Powell was appointed agent of Bauer & Black — to do
business only with the Canadian Government. Both Shaver
and Powell swore to that.
Powell got orders totalling over $41,000 and on these orders
he added a profit over and above the prices Bauer & Black
would have charged the Government of nearly 30 per cent.
Powell added over $9,000, which the Government paid —
because there had to be a middleman.
Powell did nothing to earn the money. Powell swore, and
Shaver swore that the goods were shipped direct to the Militia
Department from Chicago. Powell never saw them — never
handled them — did nothing but write a few letters and make out
a few invoices. But the Government paid Powell, Garland's
clerk, over $9,000 more than it would have paid Bauer & Black.
The excess would have been more than $9,000, but for Mr.
H. W. Brown, director of contracts. Powell charged 23 cents
each for field dressings. Brown protested the price and Powell
reduced it to 21 cents. Brown still protested and Mr. Garland,
Conservative M.P. stepped in and said the price was fair,
giving his word as a druggist that the profit was only 5 per cent.
Mr. Brown investigated a little further and found it was not 5%
but 5 cents per dressing, a profit of over 30%.
In the face of the disclosure before the Committee Powell
turned back to the Government some $6,300, all that was in the
bank in his name. The Government had in the meantime retained
$2,600 of his profits.
On March 25th at a subsequent meeting of the Public
Accounts Committee the following resolution was passed, —
**The Committee begs to report to the House the
'^evidence adduced in respect to the contract for supplies
* 'purchased from Mr. E. Powell and to express its opinion
**that the contracts for such supplies do not appear to
**have fully protected the public interests; and the Com-
**mittee therefore recommend that the evidence adduced
**and all papers connected with the matter should be
**ref erred by the House to the Department of Justice for
**any further necessary investigation and for the recovery
**of any moneys overpaid and the taking of such further
**action as may be warranted by the facts."
DRUG CASE No. 3.
EXHORBITANT PRICES PAID FOR DRUGS AT
The Contractor a sister of Albert Sevigny, M.P., Deputy
Speaker of the House of Commons.
Drugs and medical supplies of all kinds for the First Canadian
Contingent, while at Valcartier Camp, were supplied by Mdme
G. P. Plamondon of Quebec. The total of her accounts for
goods supplied at Valcartier was about $23,200. Overcharges
running all the way from 70% to 200% and even 300% were
proved by the sworn testimoney of an expert druggist.
Mdme Plamondon, who has continued the drug business of
her late husband in Quebec, held the contract for supply of drugs
to the permanent military forces at Quebec for the year 1914-15.
Her name was put on the Government patronage list two
years previously at the request of her brother, Mr. Albert
Sevigny, Nationalist member for Dorchester and Deputy
Speaker of the House. Mr, Sevigny, giving evidence
before the Public Accounts Committee on April 10th,
admitted this under oath, and also admitted that he had
written letters to the Paymaster General of the Militia
Department asking expedition in the payment of accounts
due Mdme Plamondon.
Mr. Henry Watters, druggist of Ottawa, in the trade 45
years and recognized as thoroughly competent to tell drug prices,
gave evidence on April 9th, comparing Mdme Plamondon's prices,
charged the Government with the prevailing trade prices as
shown on current price lists of the leading wholesale drug firms
of Canada, Mr. Watters demonstrated scandalous overcharges
from 70 to 300 per cent, even after allowing for any change in
prices due to the War.
It was in the purchase of binoculars for the officers of the
Canadian expeditionary forces that the full effect of the Tory
patronage system, with its inevitable middleman, was proved
most plainly. When it came to binoculars there was no question
of just one middleman — the sworn evidence proves that there
had to be two, or three, or even four — and of course every one
of them had to have his "bit."
And it was no small "bit'* either, as witness the evidence that
one particular pair of glasses were purchased at wholesale by the
first man for $9, and finally reached the Government at a net
cost of $58. Some profit!
AGENTS PLENTY, BINOCULARS FEW AND
OF POOR QUALITY
The investigations of the Public Accounts Committee con-
cerned only one particular lot of 166 glasses. Here is a list of
the people concerned in their purchase:
First, the Canadian Government, which might just as well
have dealt direct with the makers, eliminating all profxts and
saving the people's money.
Second, Col. Hurdman, the Government inspector.
Third, the P. W. Ellis Co. of Toronto, appointed by the
Government on the recommendation of Major General Sam
Hughes to "supervise" the purchase of binoculars at a fee of 10%
of their whole cost.
Fourth, T. M. Birkett of Ottawa, son of^ former Conservative
member of Parliament, and sole director of the Keystone Supply
Co. of Ottawa. This company was organized immediately after
the Borden Government came into power in 1911 and all it does
is to supply goods of all kinds to the Government, which the
Government might as well buy direct.
Fifth, Sam Bilsky, a well known and reputable Ottawa
jeweller, who offered to supply the Government with all the
binoculars it wanted, of standard make, at $45 each, but who
had no chance to do business with the Government because he
was a Liberal.
Sixth, Milton Harris, a New York broker who found the
glasses for Bilsky to turn over to Birkett.
Seventh, the original makers or importers of the glasses,
Bausch & Lomb and other wholesale and retail New York firms,
who would have been glad at any stage to sell direct to the Govern-
ment, at regular wholesale trade prices.
And for good measure, it might as well be remembered that
Mr. Birkett had a partner, Alex. Taylor, who was supposed to
get his share.
So, to trace the history of one pair of binoculars; Bausch &
Lomb sold to Harris who sold to Bilsky who sold to Birkett who
sold to P. W. Ellis & Co. who got the glasses passed by Col.
Hurdman who then turned them over to the Government.
The sworn evidence showed that the binoculars cost Birkett
and his partners an average of $30. He turned them over to the
P. W. Ellis Co. at an average of $52, and the Government paid $58.
Bilsky, with whom the Government refused to do business direct,
because he was a Liberal, got $5 a glass from Birkett, because
Bilsky knew where the glasses could be got and Birkett did not.
BINOCULARS VERY POOR QUALILY
And the worst feature of all was that the binoculars were not
of the stipulated quality. Think of that for a moment. They
were for the use of officers and on the accuracy and power of the
glasses might easily depend the lives of whole companies of
Canadian soldiers. Officers use binoculars to keep track of the
Snemy and to see what is coining. But the safety of Canadian
oldiers was secondary to the necessity of giving fat profits to
The P. W. Ellis Co. got their job as "supervisors'' through
Major General Sam Hughes, who bodily defended the whole
affair, gloried in the fact that he had given them 10% on all bin-
oculars purchased and even lamented on the witness stand that
he was ''sorry it was not 20%." There could be nothing wrong
he declared because he * 'liked the Ellis boys — fine boys — I wen^
to school with them."
And P. W. Ellis boldly testified that he had saved the Govern-
ment $12,000 by buying the binoculars. But he omitted to add
that for this ostensible saving of $12,000, he got $9,000 com-
mission for doing practically nothing, and all his expenses besides!
The evidence showed that Ellis never saw most of the glasses-
that he knew nothing about them until they had been passed by
Col. Hurdman for Birkett. And one witness swor© that he was
told that Colonel Hurdman was "figured in'' at $2 per glass.
The Public Accounts Committee, in reporting to Parliament
on this particular deal, said:
"From the evidence it appears a number of binocular
glasses were of poor quality, low range and inferior
efficiency, but passed inspection and were paid for at ex-
cessive prices; and this was due to misrepresentation and
inadequate inspection.'* The Committee recommended
that the matter be turned over to the Department of
The first action of the Borden Government in connection
with the War was to purchase two submarines for the defence
of our Pacific Coast.
COAST WAS UNPROTECTED.
The coast was entirely without protection because there was
no Canadian Navy to protect it. It was known that there was
a squadron of German cruisers in South American waters that
might easily make a dash for Victoria, Vancouver and Prince
Rupert before British or Japanese warships in the Pacific could
head them off.
Thus, at the very outbreak of hostilities, actual war demon-
strated to the Canadian people the need of a Canadian navy in
Canadian waters, to protect Canadian coasts and Canadian
It was under these circumstances that the Borden Govern-
ment undertook to make up for the lack of a Canadian Navy
by going to Seattle where they purchased two submarines which
had been built by the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey for
the Chilean Government but were rejected by the Naval Com-
mission of the Chilean Government, as being unfit for service,
lacking buoyancy and considerably out of date as to style and
The two submarines were built in New Jersey and shipped
to Seattle for assembling, and were completed and were being
subjected to trial tests for some months. The Chilean Govern-
ment had sent the Chairman of their Naval Commission, Captain
Plaza, to Seattle to witness the official trials, and accept, on
behalf of the Chilean Government, the two submarines.
SUBMARINES REJECTED BY CHILE.
The following is an extract from a statement which Capt.
Plaza, Chairman of the Chilean Naval Commission, gave to the
Press, and which was published in the Seattle Sunday Times of
July 26, 1914.—
**I can only confirm the report you have, that the
two submarines built here for my government have
not been accepted and that at this time they do not
meet the full requirements of the contract between
the Government of Chile and the Electric Boat Com-
pany of New Jersey.*'
Commenting on this statement by the Chilean expert, the
'^Considering all the angles in the cast it is evident
that the incident of the rejection of the Iquique and
Antafogasta (the two submarines afterwards purchased
by Canada) will cause a mild sensation in Coast ship-
building as well as in naval circles. It is apparent
however, that aside from the discovery that the two
submarines lack the proper buoyancy to make certain
their safety and efficiency, they are considerably out
of date as to style and pattern. They were designed
several years ago, and, it is known they do not compare
with the type of submarines now building here and
elsewhere for the United States Government. In fact,
it is understood, were the two submarines satisfactory
in point of safety and efficiency, they would scarcely
measure up in standards of destructive power, speed
and other requirements to the submarines recently
built or on the ways in various ship yards of the
The Seattle Times has wide circulation in Victoria and it is
fair to assume that the facts regarding the submarines were well
This was on July 26th. Immediately this report was made,
Mr. J. V. Patterson, President of the Seattle Construction and
Dry Dock Company, the shipbuilding firm who had assembled
the boats in Seattle, went to Victoria, so it is stated, and inter-
viewed Sir Richard McBride.
AND WHAT HAPPENED!
Sir Richard McBride immediately agreed to pay $1,150,000,
for these two rejected boats and wired the Borden Government
here at Ottawa to confirm his purchase, which they did.
In the House of Commons on February 11th, Dr. Wm.
Pugsley, M.P. for St. Johns brought this matter to the attention
<of the Government and in doing so stated, —
**I am informed on authority which I believe to
be reliable that the original contract price was $387,000
for each submarine. That made the original contract
for the two submarines $774,000. I am told that after
contract was entered into an extra torpedo tube and
some other extras were provided which brought the
contract price up to $900,000. My information is
from the Pacific Coast."
WHAT DEFENCE DID THE GOVERNMENT MAKE?
Absolutely none, except to state that Sir Richard McBride
had paid $1,150,000, for the boats and that the Borden Govern-
ment has reimbursed him to this extent.
WHY WERE THREE DRAFTS DRAWN FOR THIS
On examination of the Auditor General before the Public
Accounts Committee on March 31st, 1915, (page 401) it is shown
that three drafts were drawn for amounts as follows, totalling
No. 15862 on the Canadian Bank of Commerce,
No. 15883 on the Canadian Bank of Corfimerce,
No. 84894 on the Canadian Bank of Commerce,
The endorsements on these cheques confirm what Dr. Pugsley
had stated in the House, namely that $900,000, (less commission),
went to New York in payment of the submarines and that $250,000
(less commission), went to Mr. J. V. Patterson of Seattle.
Now we will quote what the Auditor General stated in regard
to these endorsements, —
*'With regard to the two New York drafts which were drawn
in favour of Mr. J. V. Patterson, they were endorsed **Pay to the
order of the Electric Boat Company, signed J. V. Patterson,
and the Electric Boat Company had endorsed them **A,
R, Grant, Vice-President."
It can therefore be assumed that these two drafts totalling^
$900,000, less commission were received and cashed by the
Electric Boat Company of New Jersey.
What about the third draft for $250,000, (less commission)?
This was payable to J. V. Patterson of Seattle and
endorsed by J. V. Patterson and had the stamp of the
Canadian Bank of Commerce, Seattle.
This should be sufficient proof that $250,000 went elsewhere-
than to the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey.
ANOTHER APPARENT LOSS TO THE COUNTRY OF
450 purchased from Canada Cycle & Motor Co., at a cost
of $62 each. 570 purchased from Canada Cycle & Motor Co.,
at a cost of $55 each. 200 purchased from Planet Bicycle Co.,
Toronto, at $55 each; total number purchased 1220 at a cofet of
How were these Bicycles Purchased?
By T. A. Russell, the expert of the Department.
From T. A. Russell, the general manager of the Canada.
On the recommendation of T. A. Russell, a friend of General
Competition ignored, and catalogues from other Bi-
cycle firms thrown into the waste paper basket.
Before the Public Accounts Committee on March 23, 1915.
Mr. G. M. McWilliam of Toronto, General Manager of Hyslop
Brothers, Ltd., manufacturers of standard bicycles, gave evidence
and swore: That his firm tried three times, by letter ad-
dressed to an official of the Militia Department, to get
a chance to tender for Bicycles.
That they never got any answer of any kind.
That theyxould have supplied any quantity of bicycles-
equal in every respect to those bought by the Government
for $34 each in lots of 50 to. 100 and at a less price for an
order of 1000 bicycles or more; bicycles absolutely equal to
those for which the Government paid $62 and $55.
That this very bicycle sold to the Government for $55 and
$62 with the military attachments (two carriers, two rifle-
clips, lamp, bell and small repair outfit, the whole costing $9.50)
could be purchased by anyone at retail for $49.50.
That the wholesale price for these bicycles to any man in
the business of selling bicycles and buying as many as 20, 30 or 50
in a season, would be $24.50, (without military attachments).
That his firm, Hyslop Brothers, Limited, would have supplied
the Government with the same identical bicycles, 1,220 of them,
at a total cost of $41,480.
That the difference between the price paid by the Govern-
ment and the regular trade price of these 1,220 bicycles therefore
amounts to $28,770.
LOSS TO THE COUNTRY $28,770.
The Shield -Shovel
25,000 ORDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT AT A COST
OF $33,750, MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED
STATES, SHIPPED TO ENGLAND WITHOUT
HANDLES AND DISCARDED BY THE ENG-
LISH GOVERNMENT AS BEING NOT OF
SERVICE PATTERN AND BEING UN-
SUITABLE FOR THE SOLDIERS.
PATENTEE WAS MISS ENA McADAM, PRIVATE SECRE-
TARY TO MAJOR GENERAL SAM HUGHES.
The above is the story in brief of the shield shovels. Lieu-^
tenant-Colonel Stoneman of Hamilton claims he is the patentee
of this shovel and before the Public Accounts Committee on
March 30th, swore, when exhibiting the blue print of the pattern
of the shield shovel, that he had sent a cojpy of the shield shovel
pattern at the beginning of the War to several persons, including
Lord Kitchener, Lord Roberts and General Hughes, and that
he had received an acknowledgment from all of the gentlemen
except Major General Sam hughes.
On the witness stand General Hughes stated that his private
secretary, Miss McAdam, when in Switzerland had seen the
requirements for such a spade and on returning to Canada, and
some 15 months later, after the outbreak of War had taken out
DISCARDED— NOT OF SERVICE PATTERN.
In the British House of Commons on Thursday March 11th,
1915, the question was asked by Mr. MacVeagh in regard to the
Mr. MacVeagh asked whether the McAdam spades
with which the Canadian soldiers were supplied at Salis-
bury Plains have been discarded; and, if so, under what
Mr. Tenant (Under Secretary of State for War) .
It is necessary that the entrenchment implement
should be carried on the person, and as the Canadian
troops had no means of doing this with their spade, the
Service pattern with the appropriate fitment was issued
to them. (See British Parliamentary debates, Thursday March
The fact is, the Government purchased 25,000 at a cost of
$33,750; money practically thrown away as the shovels as shown
above were discarded by the British Government as unfit for service.
General Sam Hughes stated however, that the Highland Brigade
took 600 shovels without handles to the front. Giving General
Hughes the benefit of this doubt, that 600 of the shovels were
used, it shows conclusively that the country had thrown away
24,400 shovels at a loss of $30,940.
LOSS TO THE COUNTRY ON SHOVELS $30,940.
The evidence given before the Public Accounts Committee
of the House of Commons respecting the purchase of Motor Trucks
for the use of the soldiers was of a most interesting character. We
shall not attempt to reproduce it because it is altogether , too
voluminous and much of it is technical. We shall try to give
a fair summary of the situation as disclosed.
It appears that two years before the War broke out, the
Militia Department purchased, through representations made by
one Mr. McQuarrie from Wylie, Limited, of Ottawa, three
Gramm Motor Trucks. On this sale to the Department, Mc-
Quarrie received a commission of $1200 for which he gave a
receipt to Wylie Limited which read as follows:
''Received from Wylie Limited on April 22nd, 1912,
$1200, for my influence with Col. Sam Hughes, Minister
of Department of Militia and Defence in securing from
the Department an order for three Gramm Motor Trucks.
This is in accordance with agreement with your Company,
February 19th, 1912.
(Signed) J. H. McQuarrie.
Mr. McQuarrie, it is well known, is a protege and political
henchman of the Minister of Militia. At one time he was a
lay-preacher, at another, he was a chauffeur; but always a strong
helper of the Major General at election times in his riding.
When the War broke out McQuarrie appeared on the scene
as a Motor Truck Agent and sold the Department eight trucks
manufactured by the Russell Motor Truck Car Company at
$1650 each equal to $13,200, for which he admitted he received a
commission, probably 10%.
McQuarrie and Mr. T. A. Russell, General Manager of the
Russell Motor Co. were then appointed by the Minister of
Militia as per the following letter:
August 14, 1914.
Dear Sirs: — I have pleasure in commissioning you to
select for me, for the Department of Militia and Defence,
using your best judgment, as many motor trucks as you
can conveniently secure, up to twenty-five (25) to be
delivered at Valcartier, Quebec, by the end of two weeks
from to-day — the 28th instant.
I shall be obliged if you will also supply us with
chauffeurs for these trucks.
(Signed) Sam Hughes.
Also suitable trailers — S.H.
Messrs. Russell & McQuarrie,
Chateau Laurier, Ottawa.
NO ORGANIZATION IN MILITIA DEPT.
Considering the fact that Motor Trucks for military transport
have in recent years largely displaced the ordinary horse wagon,
one would naturally imagine that the Militia Department would
bo posted on the. subject and would be possessed of sufficient
information to do their own buying of trucks. Major General
Sam Hughes had dinned it into our ears incessently that he knew
the war with Germany was coming. In view of that, it is difficult
to believe that the greatest military Organizer of all time would
neglect to see that his officials were thoroughly informed in regard
to such an important detail of military organization as Motor
Truck Equipment. Mr. Russell, however, stated before the
Public Accounts Committee, (vide page 326) that ''there was
not a scrap of paper in the Department of Militia to indicate
what the style of truck should be, what the body should be like
and so on/'
GOVERNMENT AGENTS ACT AS
BUYERS AND SELLERS.
How did these agents appointed by the Minister of the
Militia Department perform the duty assigned to them?
The first thing Mr. Russell did was to constitute himself
seller to the Government as well as buyer for it. He bought
eight trucks at $3500 each, in all $28,000 from his own Company,
the Russell Motor Car Co., that being the full retail price. It
was stated in evidence by Mr. Russell that the wholesale price
of the truck was $2800, so that the Government, although buying
eight trucks, which is a wholesale quantity for trucks, had to pay
the same price as the ordinary consumer buying one. The
Government was undoubtedly entitled to the wholesale or manu-
facturer's price and it is clear that the Russell Motor Car Co.
got $700 per truck or $5600 in all, more than they get for their
trucks as they sell them in the ordinary course of their trade,
Russell and McQuarrie bought seventeen more trucks from
different concerns and in each case the Government paid the
full retail list price, that is to say, the price which any ordinary
consumer buying one truck would have to pay. That retail list
price is 20% greater than the manufacturer's price to the trade.
Mr. Russell stated in evidence that he made no effort to get
wholesale or manufacturer's prices, and gave as his reason that
he had information that there was talk at Washington of not
allowing motor trucks to go out of the country to belligerents
and he was anxious to get the trucks.
SAM HUGHES SATISFIED.
The Minister of Militia was evidently satisfied that the
agents in buying trucks at retail prices although in wholesale
quantities, and in part from their own Company did the correct
thing because on September 2, 1914, he reappointed them to
purchase a great many more trucks as per the following letter:.
Ottawa, September 2, 1914.
Dear Sirs: — Will you please proceed with the purchase
of motor trucks and equipment for the Department of
Divisional Supply and Ammunition Park, according to
the schedule furnished you, totalling 134 motor trucks,^
7 motoi cars and 16 motor trucks for the workshops and
storage for parts, instead of having special tractors for
this purpose. These trucks will be of three ton capacity,
if you can secure a sufficient number of satisfactory make
without too great a variety; if you have to use the two-ton
trucks to secure a sufficient number, it will be necessary
to provide an additional number so as to take care of tha
tonnage required. I am anxious that you should make
use of the Jeffery trucks, if possible, as these have been
recommended to me for military purposes.
The trucks should be delivered at Quebec by 22nd
(Signed) Sam Hughgs.
Messrs. T. A. Russell
J. H. McQuarrie,
Under these fresh instructions McQuarrie and Russell bought
in the neighborhood of 140 trucks of which 60 were bought from
the Russell Motor Co., of Toronto. These 60 trucks were not
manufactured by the Russell Company; they were manufactured
complete in the United States. The Russell Company whose
General Manager was doing the buying for the Government
simply stepped in and acted as middlemen. They bought the
trucks at discounts of 15% and 10% equal to 24% from the
retail list price, and sold them tg the Government at the same
list price less a discount of only 10% — so that they pocketed a
nice profit, of 14% or over $20,000. The obvious question is-
why were these trucks not bought direct from the manufacturers,,
which would have saved that $20,000 to the country.
The other trucks about ninety in all were purchased from
different manufacturers and agents on the basis of retail list
price less 10% — instead of at the manufacturer's price to the
wholesale trade which is a discount of 25% from the list price.
Mr. Russell further, as buyer for the Government bought
from the Russell Motor Co., of which he was General Manager
trailers, Russell cars, ambulance cars, parts, etc., the total profit
realized by the Company on all purchases from it, according to
Mr. RusselFs own evidence being $30,125.
Moreover all the trucks, cars, etc., bought by Mr. Russell
as buyer for the Government from his own company, were
inspected and passed by himself or by Mr. McQuarrie who
was acting in harmony with him.
SOME TRUCKS NO GOOD.
It appears too from a Return presented to the H(Juse of
Commons on February 24th, 1915, that 38 two-ton trucks bought
from the White Company and 26 two-ton Jeffery Trucks through
the Russell Motor Car Company were found to be smaller than
the actual requirements, and are consequently not being used
at the Front. The Gramm trucks also developed weakness in
the engine crank shafts.
RUSSELL MAKES $30,000 FOR HIS COMPANY.
In fairness to Mr. Russell it should be stated that he spent
about three months in buying, organizing, inspecting and shipping
the whole army truck and car transport without making any
charge for his services, and that personally he got no commission
or remuneration on any of the purchases he made for the Govern-
ment. As Government buyer he made $30,000 profit for
his company, but nothing for himself.
It will be obvious that the method of purchasing these trucks
was a most unbusiness like one — indicative of the slap-dash
devil may care policy of the Minister of Militia. A Government
buyer should be absolutely independent and he certainly
should not be both buyer for the Government and seller
SAVING MADE PROVING PREVIOUS LOSS.
Mr. Russell evidently realizing that his dual position was
somewhat anomalous declined to act on a commission appointed
by the Minister of Militia to purchase trucks for the second
contingent, the reason assigned being that he wanted to be free
to try to secure business for his company. That commission
consisted of: — Gen. MacDonald, Senator Geo. Taylor, W. K. .
McNaught, J. H. McQuarrie and W. 0. Thomas.
As it developed Mr. Thomas who is a recognized motor
truck engineer expert controlled the situation. On his recom-
mendation 150 Kelly Trucks were purchased from the Kelly Co.,
of Springfield, Ohio at a price of $550 per truck less than the
same truck was bought for from the Russell Motor Co., who
acted as middleman and who purchased from the Kelly Co.
In this way Mr. Thomas claimed he saved the Government
$180,000 on the trucks for the second contingent as compared
with the price paid for the trucks for the first contingent. Mr.
Thomas showed that it was not necessary to buy through agents,"
he bought direct from the manufacturer at the lowest manu-
It will be apparent that Mr. Thomas' saving of $180,000
meant that practically that amount was lost on the first purchases.
A BIG BLUNDER.
Although Mr. Thomas was supposed to be the adviser to
the Commission in regard to all purchases of motor trucks,— and
is, indeed, paid a commission of 1)^% on all purchases for his
, services,— in some way or other an order was placed by the
Department in Canada for 150 bodies for the Kelly trucks at $168
each equal to $25,210 without his knowledge, and it transpired
that these bodies were quite useless as they were made for two-
ton trucks whereas the trucks ordered are three-ton capacity.
To save these bodies being a dead loss to the Government,
' Thomas is trying to work off on the Kelly Co. for use on two-ton
\trucks for the French Government.
Purchased without tender from the President of the Ottawa
A housewife is a small piece of cloth arranged as to be tied up
and contains thread, needles, twist, darning needles, darning
cotton, etc. Each soldier is supposed to have one of these utility
packages in his equipment. Without asking for tenders and
without securing any competitive prices, the Government got
into communication with Mr. Stewart McClenaghan of Ottawa,
the owner and proprietor of The 2-Macs store and President of
the Conservative Association for Ottawa, and asked him to give
a price for supplying housewives. He quoted 53J^c each and
was immediately given an order for 30,000. In the following
three months this was increased to 100,000, and the same price
53J^c each was maintained.
According to Mr. McClenaghan's own statement his profit
on these goods had been 24%, 16% of which he had charged to
overhead expenses and 8% to clear profit. On April 13th, Mr.
T. McNichol of the J. M. Garland Company, Ottawa, refused to
produce their original invoices to show what they had paid for
these goods. Why?
Burning of Clothing
Considerable criticism has been aimed at the Government in
regard to the large amount of clothing which was burned at the
closing of the Valcartier Camp in the Fall of 1914. Prominent
gentlemen from various parts of Canada have stated that they
had both seen and heard of this wanton waste.
The PubHc Accounts Committe did not have time to fully
investigate this charge, but on one occasion a resident of Val-
cartier being on the witness stand, was questioned and the
following is a synopsis of the evidence.
Mr. Adam Aikens on the Stand.
BY Mr. McKENZIE:
Q. — Do you know anything about the burning of clothing, or of
property, which appeared to be Government property on the premises?
A. — Well, yes, sir; I saw clothes burning there in piles.
Q. — Did you offer to buy some of the clothing? A. — Yes, sir; I
offered to buy a coat — me and Mr. Goodfellow and my father. The
soldier was there; he was supposed to be the guide. I offered $5 for-
the coat and he would not take it,
Q. — Those were the coats they were burning? A. — Yes, sir-
BY Mr. CARVELL:
Q. — Have you any idea as to the number that was being burned;
you say you saw piles. How large were the piles? A. — I did not pay
any attention to the size of the piles. They were fair sized piles.
Q. — Would they contain three or four, or how many? A. — I should
say two or three hundred in large piles.
Q. — How many piles were there? A. — Several piles; eight or nine
piles, so far as I could judge.
Q. — Were there any blankets in those piles? A. — Yes, sir, there
were some blankets in the piles that I could see.
Q. — Were there any other articles of uniform, or necessities for
the soldiers? A. — There were caps 1 think too; that is all I could see
in the pile.
Q. — How many caps? A. — I could not see rightly. They were
all in a pile.
Public Accounts Investigation
Brought to a Close
The PubHc Accounts Committee completed its partial in-
vestigation on April 14th. On the morning of April 15th, the
last day Parliament sat, Sir Robert Borden undertook to sum
up the evidence which had been taken before the Public Accounts
Committee. The Tory Press has lauded him for his explanations
and the stand he took. In one paragraph the Prime Minister
**I spoke to the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid)
who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee,
with regard to the scope of the investigation. I spoke
to him in the presence of the Minister of Militia and
Defence (Major General Hughes) and I informed him
that we wanted the widest possible scope given to that
inquiry. If there had been any wrongdoing in con-
nection with political expenditures, we desired it to
be investigated to the full."
The Hon. Mr. Reid did represent the Government on this
Committee and it is true that he stated several times that the
Government wanted the fullest possible investigation. It is also
true, however, that this Minister and the Conservative members
who took an interest in the investigation asked question after
question with no other apparent motive but that of finding an.
excuse for the appointment of these middlemen. They even
went so far as to communicate with Colonel Jones in the trenches
in France regarding the statement of Mr. Shaver that he had
been informed that a middleman must be appointed before his
iirm could sell field dressings to the Government.
Colonel Jones replied that he never made any such statement.
Colonel Jones' statement must be accepted as also the statement
of the Government, but the action of the Government speaks
louder than all the statements that Colonel Jones or any
member of the Government can make. The fact remains
that the middleman was appointed and that they knew he
ivas appointed and that they permitted him to draw over
$6,000 of commissions. That ought to be sufficient evidence
•of the Government's desire and intention until the famous trans-
action was dragged into the light of day by the Liberals.
$72,000 taken out of Public Treasury and no members
of Government knew of it.
With regard to Mr. Foster purchasing horses the Premier
'^Mr. Foster was appointed as purchasing agent
without the knowledge or consent or approval of any
member of the Government. I knew nothing of it or
I should certainly have absolutely prevented his under-
taking any such duties. The Minister of Militia knew
nothing of it.**
Did the Premier realize what he was stating when he made
this remark? What does the electorate think of the Prime
Minister of Canada standing up in the House and making a
statement that a private individual can come to the Department,
take out between $72,000 and $73,000 without the Prime Minister
or any member of his Cabinet knowing anything about it?
TWO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ACCUSED.
Let us see what the Premier said in regard to Mr. Foster.
In the unrevised Hansard page 2690, he is reported:
**I regret to say that the evidence — Mr. Foster's
own evidence — convinces me that he did not have
regard to that duty in the way in which I think the
Parliament and people of this country might have
expected him to perform that duty."
Also what he gaid in regard to Mr. Garland, as found on
page 2695 of ihe unrevised Hansard:
**He (Mr. Garland) had in his employ this young
man who was devoting 12 or 14 hours a day to his duties
and who received a salary of $75 a month. He not
only permitted, but he encouraged and assisted that
young man to make a contract with the Government
under which, within a few weeks, he acquired a profit
of $9,000. I cannot for one moment give my sanction
or approval to a transaction of that character, because
to say the least, it it bound to arouse a very grave
This no doubt was the proper stand to take. Thanks to the
investigation forced by the Liberals, evidence had been produced
which to say the least was not at all satisfactory so far as these
two members of Parliament were concerned. But why should
Mr. Borden condemn these two members of Parliament and pro-
tect others? Why did he overlook the men responsible for
the rotten boots? Why did he forget to mention his
Nationalist Deputy Speaker Sevigny, who as the fore-going
evidence will show, did as much in getting his sister con-
tracts for drugs as Mr. Garland did in getting contracts
for Mr. Powell?
Why did the Premier exonerate his Minister of Militia who
permitted his private secretary to take out a patent on a shield
shovel and spent over $30,000 of the country's money on it.
According to the evidence, he sent these shovels to Great Britain
without handles, and the British Government found that they
were unfit for service. Did Sir Robert Borden in his declaration
state that every member of Parliament who was found guilty of
wrong-doing such as Mr. Foster and Mr. Garland had been con-
victed of, would be read out of the Party? Not a bit of it. He
made a statement intended to convey the impression that he was
taking a high and noble stand for the good of the country and the
honor of his party.
But he touched only the fringe of the proved corruption and
he left untouched, without word or hint of disapproval or dis-
pleasure, many in the rank and file of his party.
Mr. Borden suggested a remedy in regard to the purchasing
of supplies. Hansard, page 2698, quotes him:
**We propose, as soon as this Parliament prorogues,
to take up the question of the purchase of supplies
under the appropriation of $100,000,000 and we propose
to have a commission appointed of either one man or
In appointing this business man's Committee what did
Premier Borden do?
He pronounced sentence of unfitness on General Hughes who
undertook at the outbreak of the War to dispense the patronage
of his Department.
He pronounced condemnation on the members of his Govern-
ment whom he had appointed a special purchasing Committee.
He makes the plain and undeniable admission that he has
not in his Cabinet men whom he could trust with the expenditure
of this additional $100,000,000.
WHAT THE COUNTRY LOST.
Mr. Borden in this speech said:
**In respect of the binoculars, I would estimate
the amount overpaid at $3,000 at the outside — I am
taking 166 binoculars and allowing, roughly speaking,
$20 overpaid in respect of each pair — and that in respect
of the horses, from what I can gather from the evidence,
nothing has been shown up to the present time to
indicate that more than a like amount, that is, $3,000
has been lost to the country if even that amount has
been lost. So that there is a total net result of $12,000
out of $50,000,000 or one-fortieth of one per cent, and
of that $6,300 has already been recovered, leaving a
sum aggregating one-fortieth of one per cent of an
expenditure of $50,000,000."
Was the Prime Minister sincere in making this statement?
Was he acquainted with the facts? Or was he making a campaign
speech? Let us repeat what he says that out of an expenditure
of $50,000,000, $6,000 has been lost to the country, or one-
fortieth of one per cent. We have tried to be fair in the com-
pilation of this publication. It is not $50,000,000 worth of
goods that were investigated but less than $3,000,000 worth.
As Sir Wilfred Laurier said just the surface had been
scratched but from this it is evident that considerably more
than $6,000 was lost.
Let us summarize and estimate what the country did lose:
Shield Shovels 30,940
*01iver Equipment 373,475
Drugs Thousands of dollars
Motor trucks Thousands of dollars
Clothing Thousands of dollars
Boots Thousands of dollars
Some of these items are absolutely proved — as to others,
the best that can be said is that the accounting or explanation
is unsatisfactory and cannot be accepted.
*See page 36 of tnis publication.
*War Contracts Not Investigated
PURCHASES NOT INVESTIGATED.
Early in the Session Liberal members realizing that purchases
in connection with the War supplies might come before the
Public Accounts Committee endeavored to get all possible infor-
mation from the Government to enable them to investigate and
ascertain to what extent the interests of the people had been
protected by the Government.
The Public Accounts Committee closed April 14th and the
House prorogued on April 15th.
FLANNEL SHIRTS.— 352,328 purchased.
The Return asked for on March 8th and brought down on
April 9th. Number purchased 352,328, prices ranging from
$1.00 to $1.58 each. (See Sessional Papers No. 260).
SERVICE SHIRTS.— 176,154 purchsised.
Return asked for on March 8th and brought down on April
12th only. The number of service shirts purchased were 176,154
at prices from $1.00 to $1.15 each. (See Sessional pps. 260b).
COTTON SHIRTS.— 186,188 purchased.
Return asked for on March 8th and brought down on April
9th. Number ordered 186,188, the price ranging from $1.00 to
$1.15. (See Sessional pps. 260a).
FORAGE CAPS.— 210,000 purchased!
Return asked for on March 9th and brought down only
April 7th, 210,000 purchased at an average price of $1.26. (See
Sessional pps. 237).
UNDERWEAR.— 282,438 Woollen Shirts and 366,448 Drawers
Return asked for on March 8th and brought down on April
9th. Number purchased, shirts woollen, 282,438, ranging from
$9.50 to $12.50 per dozen. Drawers 366,448 from $9.50 to $12.50
per dozen. (See Sessional pps. 264).
A return was asked for on March 8th and brought down on
March 18th as follows:
Jackets 228,170 @ $5.91 each
Trousers 171,032 @ $3.93 each
Breeches 79,000 @ $6.97 each
(See Sessional pps, 174).
SADDLES.— 11,000 purchased.
Return for the number of saddles purchased was asked for
on March 8th and was only brought down on March 26th and
showed that 11,000 saddles were ordered at $45.00 each. (See
Sessional pps. 207).
MOTOR CYCLES.— 57 purchased.
A return was asked for on March 8th and brought down only
on April 1st. 57 were ordered ranging from $300 to $315.00
(See Sessional pps. 227).
CANVAS SHOES.— 95,000 pairs purchased.
At $2.00 a pair costing the Country $190,000.00. (See
memorandum European War 1914-1915).
The Country will require some explanations as to what use
was made of these.
OLIVER EQUIPMENTS.— 54,500 purchased.
Price paid per set $6.75 an expenditure of $373,475.00.
All discarded. On April 5th, 1915, General Hughes in answer
to a question asked by Mr. E. M. Macdonald, M.P. for Pictou,
N.S., in regard to Oliver Equipment supplied the first Contingent
**It is reported that the Oliver equipment was with-
<lrawn, and the division completed with Webb equipment
from the British ordnance." (See Unrevised Hansard, April
5th, 1915, page 2070).
OVERSHOES.— 120,000 purchased.
Return showed that 120,000 overshoes were purchased at
prices ranging from $1.70 to $1.96 per pair. (See Questions and
Answers, Hansard, Feb'y 22, 1915.)
RAZORS.— 62,363 purchased.
Up to February 22nd, 1915, 62,363 razors were purchased
at from $4.85 to $9.00 per dozen. (See Questions and Answers,
Hansard, Feb'y 22, 1915.)
Returns were asked for showing the number of blankets,
coats and great coats, socks, towels, etc., which have been pur-
chased by the Militia Department for the War. The Govern-
ment doubtless had this information at their fingers' ends but
the Session closed and nothing was brought down.
With this statement it can be readily seen how easy it was
for the Government to delay investigation in these war contracts,
particularly when it is noted that it took the Boot Committee
26 days to investigate one item and the Public Accounts Com-
mittee investigated 9 items in 18 days.
The Patronage Maggot.
The Ottawa Citizen, for many years the leading Conservative
newspaper of Eastern Ontario on March 24th, 1915, commented
on the absolute proof of the working of the Tory Patronage
System as revealed in this investigation, in the following editorial:
WHERE ARE THE LOYAL ORDERS?
There is a maggot eating at the heart of Canadian
national life; and independent citizens of this country are
standing by in silence, witnessing the work of the greedy
maggot without a murmur. Materialism has burrowed
into the body politic so deep that even things most dear
to the honor of fit nation do not escape it. Young men,
young soldiers, are voluntarily giving their all, their lives,
in defence of British freedom, British honor and British
tradition; and the political maggot is eating into the
health of the citizen army through the soles of its rotten
Having eaten into the health of the soldiers who were
strong and well, the maggot is now fattening on the sick
and wounded, broken in the Empire's war. Field dress-
ings, even the ssAwe and balm and bandages, for the poor
broken limbs and shattered bodies of Canada's wounded
men and boys, have been made a medium for the cursed
maggot to ply its loathesome business. Where are the up-
holders of British tradition, the loyal orders, the sons of
England and the sons of honor in Canada? Must they
remain for ever silent while such damnable maggotry is
being laid bare?
Here it has been demonstrated and confessed before
a committee of members of Parliament that a junior clerk
in the Carleton Drug Company — of which William F. Gar-
land, M.P. for Carleton, is principal owner — has made a
profit of $9,000 on an order for forty thousand dollars worth
of field dressings and other necessities intended for the
brave men at the firing line. The drug clerk, a mere in-
experienced youth, paid about $15 a week, is introduced
to the militia department under the scoundrelly political
patronage system tolerated by the pinchbeck political
practise of this country.
It is pretended that the junior clerk of the Carleton
Drug Company is allowed to appropriate this patronage-
begotten $9,000 of public money without hint or inter-
ference regarding its disposal by his political masters.
Taking the pack of patronage middlemen at their political
word, and assuming that the $9,000 of profit on the field
dressings and necessities for wounded men is to be disposed
as pretended, is it not enough to bring tears of shame and
indignation to the eyes of every lover of Canada and British
The Red Cross fund is having to appeal for more help;
and many good people are giving of their scant earnings
to do what little they can for the tender nursing of the
Empire's broken men. For the sum of $9,000 eighteen
trained nurses could have been sent from Canada and
maintained at the saving line for a whole year — perhaps
till the end of the War — to wash the wounds and soothe,
the pain-racked bodies of Canada's injured Soldiers. One
hundred and eighty Red Cross beds could have been sent
to the saving line to lay weary, shell-torn and shattered
men upon, in cleanliness and comfort, so far as comfort
is possible. But the $9,000 — just one instance of the work
of the maggot eating at the heart of Canada — is now
deposited to the account of a junior clerk of the firm of
the Carleton Drug Company, of which William F. Garland,
M.P., is principal owner.
And the political colleagues of the honorable member
for Carleton gloss over the work of the maggot by asking
smooth questions. Field dressings and first aid necessities
for the wounded are made to yield up a profit of 28 per
cent — $9,000 of public money — to a politically appointed
agent; and Mr. Blain of Peel glibly asks, *'Is that regarded
as high in your business?" And Mr. Fripp of Ottawa says
to the Carleton Drug Company's junior clerk, **You do
not have to account to anyone for the amount?" The
clerk answers, **No." Says Mr. Friop, honorable member
for this Capital and royal city, ** You are going through
college and this will help you?" And the obedient clerk
answers, ^^Yes." And the loyal citizens of Canada are quite
calm and unmoved about it!
Within a few weeks the political packs will have
scattered across the country, and if the ring-leaders have
their way Canada will be plunged into the swirl and swill
of a general election. Such patriot gentry as the head of
the Carleton Drug Company, and the sophist members of
the committee investigating the profits over the bodies of
wounded soldiers, will be expanding themselves upon
political platforms and appealing for the support of the
loyal orders and believers in British tradition and honor!
They will vow themselves to be the saviors of the Empire.
What will the loyal orders and independent citizens say?
Britain would surely abhor and repudiate such . prof essed
aid. Will it seem well in the sight of the Great Architect of
The Soldiers' Boots
.History tells us that Nero fiddled while Rome was burning.
The historian of the present war will tell future generations that
when Canada and the Empire were in danger General Sam Hughes
outdid Nero's indifference to the national peril by giving a score
or more of the 8,000 "good boys'' whom he had placed on the
Patronage List huge orders for inferior boots, and that these
inferior boots were supplied to the men who went out to face
death in order that Canada and the Empire might live. The
story of the boots supplied the Canadian soldiers is a disgraceful
one, but quite in keeping with the other War Scandals of the
Borden Government. Had it not been for the work done by the
Liberal Members of the Special Committee appointed by the
House of Commons to investigate the Boot Scandal the facts
would never have become public.
FIRST BLUNDER WAS FATAL.
To fully appreciate the bungling and incapacity of the
Government in their failure to provide the most important part
of the soldiers' outfit, it is necessary to know the position of
affairs in the Militia Department at the outbreak of the War in
At that time there was in the Militia Department an ankle
boot made by the Slater Shoe Company which had been sealed
in 1905 by the officials of the Department as the Pattern Boot
according to which all boots afterwards required for the Permanent
Force were to be made. This Sealed Pattern was not an Active
Service Boot. In make and shape it was similar to the ordinary
walking boot used by civilians in Canada, and was suitable for
soldiers only in times of peace and to wear on parade or about the
ban-acks. Neither was it the boot used by the soldiers in South
Africa. That fact was proved beyond any doubt before the
Special Committee of the House of Commons where the evidence
of Assistant Director of Stores McCann established that the
boots used in South Africa were supplied by A. W. Reddin and
the Vankleek Hill Shoe Company and not by the Slater Shoe
When War was announced in August last and it became
necessary to purchase large quantities of boots for active service,
several boots made for the Borden Government jn 1913 by
Gauthier of Quebec, and accepted without proper inspection, were
selected from the Ordnance Stores at Ottawa as being in every
respect similar to the Slater Sealed Pattern of 1905, and these
Gauthier samples were handed around to various manufacturers
as models for the Active Service Boots that they were to make
under their Contracts with the Mihtia Department. In no case
were specifications furnished the Contractors. It was proved
before the Special Committee of the House of Commons that
these Gauthier samples were inferior to the Slater Sealed Pattern
Boot of 1905, and, as has been pointed out, the latter was never
intended for an active service boot. Hence at the very outset a
fatal blunder was made by the Government in ordering boots that
were not fit for active service, and that blunder has been repeated
over and over again.
NUMBER OF INFERIOR BOOTS ORDERED.
In the month of August, 1914, orders were given for 65,000
pairs of these inferior boots. In September a second order for
32,867 pairs was given. The boots of this second order were to
be made from the inferior Gauthier samples and from some
samples furnished by the Contractors themselves. On October
8th, 9th and 10th, further orders were given for 30,000 pairs.
All the boots were ordered up to this time were to cost $3.85 per
pair. On October 24th the Department of Militia made a change
in the sample boot by providing a double sole and between October
29th and November 4th, orders were placed for 40,532 pairs of
the^e double-soled boots at $4.00 per pair.
BOOTS BOUGHT FROM MIDDLEMEN
Later on in the month of November under instructions from
the Acting Minister of Militia to pm'chase boots locally in Winni-
peg, the Senior Ordnance Officer in that City, bought 3,798 pairs
of boots from middlemen. These middlemen had the boots manu-
factured in different factories in Ontario and Quebec at prices
ranging from $3.40 to $3.60 per pair, while they charged the
Government an average price of $4.00 per pair. Afterwards
several other orders were placed in Vancouver and in other
parts of Canada, and in all, the Department purchased 180,664
pairs of boots. These boots sell at retail for from $5.50 to $6.00
NO PROPER INSPECTION.
The purchases having been made in the manner above stated,
it is of interest to ascertain how the boots were inspected.
Up to the end of the year 1911 the Inspector of boots in the
Department of Militia and Defence was a practical boot and ^oe
maker. He was dismissed without cause in December 1911 and
in his place another gentleman was appointed, who had had no
experience as a boot maker or as a tanner, and whose business
immediately prior to his entering the Department had been that
of a broker. It was because of this dismissal that the boots
supplied by the Gauthier Company in 1913 were not properly
inspected. I'hen in August last when the first War Contracte
under the inferior Gauthier samples were awarded, five other
boot Inspectors were employed, all of whom owed their appoint*
ment to political pull, and the majority of them had had no
experience as boot and shoe makers. All practical men admit
that the only way in which boots can be properly inspected is to
follow them through the various processes of manufacture in the
factory. In the case of the Government orders, inspection in
the factories took place only in a limited number of cases. The
general inspection was done by making a superficial examination
of a finished boot. Thus it was impossible to tell what material
or workmanship was contained in the interior of the boot, and
obviously inspection of this kind was absolutely worthless.
Another thing that made the inspection a farce was the fact
that all the Inspectors used the same stamp so that it was im*
possible to identify the man who had passed defective boots.
The Inspector who was dismissied in 1911 had a special stamp*
bearing the initial letter of his name, and thus his work could be
traced in every case. Under the Borden Government no such
useful record was desired and the incompetent Inspector could
stamp bad boots without any fear of being detected.
In the case of the first order given in August last, 13,926.
pairs of boots were delivered at Valcartier without any inspection)
whatever. This was the case also with the boots purchased'
months afterwards at Winnipeg and Vancouver. Under all the
circumstances, therefore, it is not surprising that so many bad^
boots were accepted and paid for by the Government.
The boots issued to the soldiers in different parts of Canada
had not been worn for a month when complaints regarding them
began to come in to the Department. These complaints grew in
frequency and number and in time became the subject of comment
in the public press. An attempt to head off the rising storm of
indignation was made by the'Minister of Militia when in December
last he appointed a Committee composed of Colonel W. Hallick,
Theo. Galipeau of Montreal and E. A. Stephens of Ottawa to
hold a Departmental inquiry. This Committee did not examine
any witnesses under oath, but they expressed a unanimous
opinion as to the unfitness of the Gauthier sample-boot, according
to which the boots supplied the soldiers were made. That opinion
was in these terms:
**That the boot was of unsuitable shape and make
**and that the leather contained no water-resisting
**That the heels and soles are unprotected and
"sole-fitting is often poor quality:
*'That the boot was unsuitable for the soldiers
**and for that particular work for which they were
(a) **Th€ shape is such that the average foot has
**not room for the free movement of the toes and is
**thus not suitable for marching:
(b) ''The leather is dry, containing no grease, and
''^consequently quickly absorbs the water:
(c) **Soles and heels not being re-inforced with
"metal, soon wear down, especially when wet."
This condemnation of the sample boot was confirmed by
practically every one of the 87 witnesses, who appeared before
the Special Committee of the House of Commons. That being
the case, it is not surprising that the boots manufactured from
these samples failed so miserably, even under ordinary weather
conditions in Canada.
ALDERSON AND PERLEY CONDEMN THE BOOTS.
Shortly after the First Expeditionary Force reached England,
General Alderson, the Commander of the Canadian Troops,
cabled the Government as follows:
**The boots now being issued to the Contingent
**are not suitable for rough wear in wet weather.
**Please cable instructions for purchase of boots here
**if we can obtain them."
Instead of cabling General Alderson the instructions for
which he asked, the Minister of Militia, General Hughes, at
once purchased 48,000 pairs of overshoes from a few of his ''good
boys" and then sent General Alderson this cablegram:
** Reference your cable re boots 48,000 pairs over-
'*shoes already shipped. Will these meet your require-
To this idiotic message General Alderson sent the following
''It has been found that overshoes do not com-
**pensate for faulty construction of boots. Some pairs
''are useless after ten days wear. Special report is
Having failed to induce the Minister of Militia to do what
any man of ordinary common sense would have done under the
circumstances, General Alderson evidently had a conference with
Sir George Perley, Minister without Portfolio^ in the Borden
Government who is Acting High Commissioner in London. On
November 24th, 1914, Sir George Perley cabled Sir Robert
Borden at Ottawa as follows:
"Authorities consider boots too light altogether;
*'say only heavy marching boots adapted to campaign-
*'ing; find general complaint on this account regarding
say only neavy marcning boots ada
'ing; find general complaint on this
boots given our Canadian Contingent; stated they
will not stand mud and water and heavy work*
**Consider overshoes impracticable as they are heavy
**to walk in and will only last short time on hard
''roads. In my opinion next contingent should be
* 'provided with boots made on regulation army
To this message no reply seems to have been sent. Failing
to get any satisfaction from the Government at Ottawa, General
Alderson ordered the 33,000 pairs of Canadian boots supplied
the soldiers of the First Expeditionary Force to be thrown away
and in their place he issued an equal number of British Army
MILITARY BOARDS CONDEMN BOOTS.
Equally sweeping in their condemnation of the Canadian
Boots were the 90 or more Regimental Boards of Inquiry that sat
in England and in Canada and reported the result of their findings
to the Government at Ottawa. The majority of the Reports of
these Boards were dragged out of their pigeon-holes by the Liberal
Members of the Special Committee of the House of Commons,
and many of the witnesses mentioned in the Reports were ex-
amined under oath before the Special Committee. It is im-
portant to cite a few extracts from their evidence so as to show
the opinions held by the soldiers themselves regarding the boots
supplied them by the Borden Government.
WHAT SOME SOLDIERS SAID.
Private McGarvie of the 6th Field Ambulance, Montreal,
who had served 7 years in the Royal Scotch Fusiliers and whose
occupation is that of a shoe maker described the boots served out
to his Company as "rotten."
Quartermaster Sergeant Wainwright of the 31st Battalion,
Calgary, who had served 12 years in the Imperial Army and who
also is a shoemaker, described the boots as too light and flimsy,
and said that out of 1,093 boots that came under his inspection
there were not a dozen pairs as good as the inferior Gauthier
sample. Of the boots which he examined and found defective he
said that the biggest percentage was made by Gauthier of Quebec,
and Ames, Holden & McCready of Montreal.
Officers and privates stationed in different parts of Canada
testified that the defective boots resulted in men contracting
colds, and otherwise becoming ill and unable to follow the pre-
scribed training, as a result of which, much delay and incon-
venience was caused at many training points. On this score the
most damning evidence against the Government was given by
certain witnesses from Halifax.
TIED SHINGLES AND BAGS ON BOOTS.
Major F. W. Doane of the 63rd Regiment testified that after
about a fortnight's use the boots issued to the men of his Regiment
were worn through so that the men's feet were on the ground.
He added that ''they had to tie shingles and bits of baard and
pieces of bag across the bottoms of their boots to keep their
"feet off the ground."
Captain F. C. Kaizer of A Company, HaUfax, gave evidence
to the effect that in his Company there were three or four men
who went around for a week or ten days with canvas bags tied
to the soles of their boots, so as to prevent their feet coming oiat
on the ground, and that it was a common occurrence to see men
with their feet in this condition going up nd down on the boat
that plied between Halifax and the Camp on McNab's Island in
MEN BECAME TUBERCULAR.
"Captain C. A. Mumford, also of Halifax, was another witness
who in the course of his evidence said that the health of his men
had been affected through the failure of the boots supplied to
them, that three of the men had contracted heavy colds, had
become tubercular, and had been put out of the Regiment.
Particulars regarding these men, will be found on Page 377 of the
Printed Proceedings of the Boot Committee.
Evidence as to the rapidity with which their boots went to
pieces, was given by a large number of other soldiers, some of
whom testified that their toes came through their boots, when
wet and after only a few weeks' wear.
Colonel Hughes, the brother of General Sam Hughes, told
the Committee that the boots supplied the men of his Regiment,
then stationed at Kingston, Ontario, looked more like moccasins
than boots when they were wet.
In the case of the men of the 25th Battery and Ammunition
Column, 7th Artillery who were mobilized in Ottawa in the
month of March, 1915, it was sworn by Lieut. Anderson that the
boots supplied to his men went to pieces in less than 2 weeks,
although the men were stationed at the armouries in Ottawa and
had undergone no hardships whatever.
Instances such as the above could be multiplied, but as they
are all contain-ed in the Printed Record of the Proceedings before
the House of Commons Boot Committee, it is not necessary to
repeat them here.
CONDEMNED BY THEIR FRIENDS.
In view of the evidence given by the men who wore the
boots as to their absolute unfitness for active service, special
significance attaches to the testimony of certain manufacturers
who appeared before the Committee.
Mr. N. Tetreault of the Tetreault Shoe Co., Montreal
declared that it was ridiculous to put on a soldier's foot such a
boot as had been supplied by the Militia Department.
Mr. W. S. Matthews of the Ames, Holden, McCready Co.,
of Montreal stated that the boots were never meant for foreign
service and that when they were issued by the Government the
latter fully realized that they would not stand any hard wear.
Mr. Alfred Minister of the Minister Myles Shoe Company,
Toronto, swore that when he was asked to supply boots similar
to the inferior sample, he declined to do so as he "did not want
*'to make any money out of a man's life."
These men are friends of the Government and are on the
patronage list. In the light of their testimony there is no escape
for the Government. But it is urged by some apologists that
the Government may be excused on the ground of urgency. That
excuse is of no avail for Mr. Tetreault swore that the Government
could without much trouble or delay have provided a proper
boot suitable for soldiers on active service and that they could
have got all the new lasts they would have required in a week's
time. It is thus clear that the delays, the discomforts and the
illness that befell the soldiers as well as the enormous loss of
money to the public are directly attributable to the incapacity
and inaction of the Government.
WHAT DID THE GOVERNMENT DO?
With incompetent Ministers in the Council Chamber and a
horde of hungry followers without, it is not surprising that the
. policy which the Government pursued with regard to the request
of General Alderson, has continued to be its policy up to the
In January, 1915, it looked as if practical action would be
taken to rectify the bungling of the previous five months. About
the date mentioned, the Government had taken the letting of
Contracts away from General Hughes and had appointed a Sub-
Committee of the Privy Council, presided over by Hon. J. D.
Hazen, to superintend the purchase of War supplies, including
boots. This Sub-Committlee of Council held interviews with
representatives of boot manufacturing firms and adopted a
sample of Active Service Boot and a specification which these
representatives had prepared and submitted to the Government.
Mr. Hazen informed the representatives of the boot manufacturers
that the Government would order 110,000 pairs of these Active
Service Boots. Before this order could be carried into effect.
General Hughes came on the scene again and prevented any
action from being taken by appointing as Chief Adviser on boots
a Toronto tanner who admitted under oath that he had never
made any boots and that he was going about seeking information
as to the proper kind of Active Service Boot to recommend to
the Department. In this way months of time have been wasted
and the inferior boot as manufactured in August last, has con-
tinued to be supplied to the members of the Second and Third
Extraordinary and criminal as their conduct must appear to
every man not blinded by party prejudice, the Government did
not cancel one contract, nor in the face of the evidence in its
possession and of the statement made by General Sam Hughes at
Calgary and at Edmonton that he would shoot the men who
made the bad boots if he could find them, did it make any effort
to stop the delivery of the inferior boots, although some of them
were delivered as late as the. month of March, 1915.
But, this is not by any means the worst feature of the Govern-
ment's criminal neglect in its treatment of the Canadian soldiers.
While Sam Hughes' Chief Adviser on boots has been drawing
$10.00 a day as well as travelling expenses and reasonable living
expenses, since the month of January last without making a report
or coming to any decision, requisitions for boots have been piling
up in the Department without any attempt being made by the
Government to procure boots of any kind for the soldiers who
were in urgent need of them.
Giving evidence before the Special Committee of the House
of Commons, Colonel J. F. Macdonald, the Director of Clothing
and Equipment, swore that in the month of April, 1915, there
were requisitions at Headquarters in Ottawa for 20,000 pairs of
boots, which the Department was not able to fill. ISlo attempt
was made to explain or contradict this statement before the
Committee or before the House, and thus the Government stands
convicted not only of gross incompetence but of the most callous
indifference and neglect.
As every man who has been on active service insists that the
boot is the most important part of the soldiers' equipment and
that the soldier is rendered inefficient by inferior boots just as
surely as he would be if supplied with an out-of-date rifle, it needs
no argument to illustrate the fact that the Government not only
failed at the outset to adopt the most elementary principle that
applies to the equipping of an army, but that it has failed to grasp
that principle even after the experiences of the last nine months.
The sufferers are the brave men who have gone to France and
Flanders to defend Canada and the Empire and the beneficiaries
are the friends of the present Government, to whom fat contracts
were given and who were allowed to equip the men of the Second
and Third Expeditionary Forces with boots that had been con-
demned by General Alderson, Sir George Perley and a host of
SOME OF THE GRAFT.
Among the beneficiaries are the Winnipeg middlemen whose
rake-off varied from 40 cents to 60 cents per pair on all the boots
they sold to the Government. Then there is also Mr. Charles
^. Slater, the middleman who was placed on the patronage list
by General Sam Hughes and whose rake-off on the Contracts
given the Gauthier Company of Quebec amounted to $15,275.00.
Weeks after these revelations had been made public. Sir Robert
Borden had the audacity to allege in Parliament that the total
loss to the Country from the war-grafting of his political friends
would be only $3,000.00 Is such a man fit to be Prime Minister
Another method of helping their friends was devised by the
Government when they allowed several contractors to substitute
a cheap side leather for the more expensive calf leather from which
the boots were supposed to be made and these contractors were
paid at the prices quoted for calf boots. It was sworn that the
change in the leather made a difference of at least 20 cents per
pair in the price and a refund on this basis was asked from two
contractors who had made the change without permission from
the Department. But in the case of the Ames, Holden, McCready
Co., it was proved that they had been allowed to substitute the
cheaper for the more expensive leather and had not made any
refund nor had they been asked to do so.
If fuller details regarding the boots supplied the Canadian
soldiers are required they can be obtained by reference to the
Printed Record of the Proceedings before the Special Boot Commit-
tee of the House of Commons, to the speeches made by the Liberal
Members of the Special Committee, viz: — Honourable Charles
Murphy, M.P., E. M. Macdonald, M.P., and E. W. Nesbitt, M.P.,
and published in Hansard of April 12th, 1915, and to the Minority
Report of these gentlemen as contained in Hansard of the same
In spite of the foregoing the Borden
Nationalist-Conservative Government, plan-
ning a Khaki election, has flooded the
country with literature bearing the flag-
waving slogan **BORDEr^ BACKS BRITAIN''
Where quotations of the evidence before the Public Accounts
Committee in this pamphlet are indicated by the page num-
ber in the Public Accounts Committee evidence, the page
number given is that of the daily report of the evidence pub-
lished while the Committee was sitting. The revised and
bound edition of the evidence, not available as this publica-
tion goes to print, is differently paged.
8tC., &c.y &c.
Read the Evidence!
Published by the Central Information Office
of the Canadian Liberal Party
Ottawa, May, 1915